WAGPET in the Pilbara

Registrars got a taste for rural general practice this past weekend.

Last weekend, WAGPET and a number of registrars visited the Pilbara for a rural experience tour, an opportunity to see what its like to live and work in the region. 

On the Friday, we visited a number of WAGPET training facilities, starting with Hedland Health Campus. WAGPET alumni Dr John van Bockxmeer gave us an excellent tour of the campus, showing us the work they do and how they work closely with other hospitals and services to provide healthcare to patients in nearby towns in the Pilbara. Next stop was Wirraka Maya Health Service, where Practice Manager Gail Williams chatted with registrars about some of challenges they face as an Aboriginal medical service providing healthcare to the local Aboriginal community. On our way to Karratha, we stopped for a bite at Whim Creek Pub. After lunch, we went to Mawarnkarra Health Service where Dr Lorraine Anderson shared about the history of the Aboriginal people in the area over homemade banana cake.

On Saturday, we visited Karratha Health Campus and Sonic Health Plus Karratha. We met one of the GPs at Sonic Health Plus Karratha who shared about life and work in Karratha. After visiting these practices, we took in some of the tourist sights including, Woodside Visitor's Centre, the Red Dog Statue and the Burrup Rock Art. On Saturday evening. we hosted the MyGP dinner at Karratha International Hotel, celebrating general practice training in the Pilbara region since 2002. Attendees included WAGPET GP supervisors and registrars, prospective registrars in the region, representatives from WAPHA and the Rural Clinical School and WAGPET staff.

For the last day of the tour, we took a boat tour around the Archipelago and we saw rock art, went swimming and snorkelling, ate freshly caught oysters and enjoyed a light lunch.

All in all, the weekend was wonderful!